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d3 Developer Insight: 20 Years of Diablo

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To celebrate 20 years of Diablo, Blizzard sat down with three core team members as they talk how is it to work on Diablo.

Blizzard LogoRob Foote, Lead Producer

Q: How long have you been a Diablo fan?

Rob Foote, Lead Producer: I remember playing Diablo with my brothers; we had one computer and the four of us had to play in shifts. We each had our own characters; I remember the first time my brother showed me a Godly Plate of the Whale and I was like, “Oh man, that’s crazy! How did you get that?!” We were playing online, which was so new to us, so exciting and crazy.

Q: What is it about the Diablo series that appeals to you?

Rob Foote: To me, it’s about power and seeing your character develop over time. To struggle through a portion of the game and then go back and find it’s trivial; playing on higher and higher difficulties and watching them get easier. Besides power, there’s loot. Getting a Godly Plate of the Whale or seeing a green item drop for the first time in Diablo II was a thrill. That’s still true in Diablo III; you see a set item drop and think “is this my last piece of Jade Harvester? I sure hope it is!” and then you open it up to see. Once you get those pieces you think “I’m going to raise my difficulty now, because now I’m a lot more powerful.” Building power over time is a fantasy present across the franchise. The tone of Diablo also appeals to me, because it’s so different from other Blizzard games. It’s so dark, and I love horror in games, film, and novels. It’s a great genre.

"Our designers have seemingly infinite ideas, so it’s usually a question of when we can get something done, and what can we deliver for each patch."

Q: Do you remember the first thing you worked on when you joined the Diablo team?

Rob Foote: My first job was as a game tester for Diablo II on the 1.04 patch. Blizzard was a lot smaller back then, and so was our QA team. We basically had to brute-force test Diablo, and if you’ve played D2, it’s very challenging to do because there’s so many different sets and Uniques. One of the craziest bugs we found arose from the set number of facings for each character. We had this checklist where you hold each weapon type and check every single one of the facings, and I thought “We’re never gonna find anything wrong with this; why even run the checklist?” But sure enough, one of the items, in one of the facings, disappeared from my character’s hands.

Q: How did you get started on the team and in your current role?

Rob Foote: I started at Blizzard 16 years ago, and my first job was as a game tester. I also worked on Lord of Destruction as a tester, worked my way up as a producer on World of Warcraft, and then came back as a producer on Diablo III. Now I’m a lead producer on Diablo III, and our job is to manage the schedule and ensure we get stuff done on time so we can publish patches. A lot of the job is about tasking individuals with work that needs to be done, and meeting with designers and asking what they want to accomplish with a feature. We set priorities with the team about the must-haves and the nice-to-haves, then go to work to get stuff done in the best way possible. Our designers have seemingly infinite ideas, so it’s usually a question of when we can get something done, and what can we deliver for each patch.

"(...)loot is what drives the game to me. They’re like presents; you get to open them and they can dramatically change your character."

Q: What is your favorite Diablo item?

Rob Foote: In the first Diablo, it was the Godly Plate of the Whale. In Diablo II, the Stone of Jordan was THE item that consumed us. For Diablo III . . . I’m very unlucky and for the longest time I was trying to find Lut Socks. I needed them for my Earthquake/Leap build, and I waited for the longest time to get them, and it was the last piece to complete my build so I was very happy when I finally got them.

Q: What classes are you playing currently? Do you play Hardcore or Softcore?

Rob Foote: Last season I played a Witch Doctor, and I’ve played a lot of Barbarian. In Diablo II, Barbarian was one of my favorite classes; I also played a lot of Necromancers and Amazons, so in Diablo III I played Witch Doctor, and now with the Necromancer coming out next I’m excited about playing it again. I’ve played the Necromancer internally and it’s a lot of fun. In Season 8 I played my first Hardcore character to 70 and now I think I’ll probably switch back and forth. Hardcore’s a different game; you’re not pushing to the absolute limit, but instead pushing cautiously to the limit with the knowledge that if you die, you lose it all.

Q: What’s it like working on the Diablo team?

Rob Foote: When people ask me what the best part of working at Blizzard is, I always answer, “the people.” Everyone here loves games and our games in particular, so motivation isn’t a factor. People come in every day to make amazing games and that makes our job very rewarding and pretty straightforward. Great ideas can come from anywhere, and our designers regularly have brainstorm sessions with the entire team. It’s all about having great ideas and putting them into the game. Every year, we get better at making Diablo; we trust each other, we listen to each other, and we collaborate. It’s a great place to be and we’re always excited to come in to work.

Q: What do you think is the historical legacy of Diablo? What will people be reading about the series 10–20 years from now?

Rob Foote: I think if, 20 years from now, someone is flipping through a college textbook on game design, and they see the entry on “Action RPG,” the entry would say “see: Diablo.” Anyone who plays that genre and loves it has played Diablo games. I think Diablo satisfies the need to build heroes over time, grow in power, get awesome loot, slay monsters, play with your friends, and share those experiences with others.

Q: What‘s the one thing that would cause Diablo to no longer be Diablo if we removed it from the game?

Rob Foote: Loot. The loot is what drives the game to me. They’re like presents; you get to open them and they can dramatically change your character. When you get a powerful item, you can really feel the increase in your performance; it’s not a 0.4% increase but a 20% increase in damage and you’re just slaying things you used to struggle with in one hit. That’s really satisfying.

"(...)just “fresh meat!” and you’re dead. And you’re like, “Whoa! What just happened?” "

Q: Can you give us an example of something you’re really excited to have worked on?

Rob Foote: There are many moments, but I think the greatest moment for me was when Reaper of Souls shipped. It was obviously a commercial success, but, more importantly, it was also a huge success in the eyes of our players. The community loved it; our family and friends contacted us saying they loved it, the launch went very smoothly, and it was well-received by a lot of people. Second would be shipping Lord of Destruction, because it was the first time I got a credit in the game industry. I still have the instruction manual with my name printed on it.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the Darkening of Tristram (Patch 2.4.3) and how the patch came to be?

Rob Foote: The initial conversation was along the lines of, “we want to do something for the 20th anniversary; what’s the plan?” Initially, we were going to just add the old-school music from Diablo into Diablo III. That evolved into, “what if we could get you to play a representation of Diablo in Diablo III?” That became, “well, one level was pretty easy to do, there’s only 15 more, let’s just do them all.” We had some very passionate people who were dedicated to making it happen, and it kind of snowballed—in a good way—into having all 16 levels, then finding monsters that work within those levels to make it reminiscent of the Diablo I experience. Someone had the idea to run the game in 640x480 resolution, but it wasn’t really feasible—so we created a visual filter instead to get the pixelated look.

Q: What are some of the series’ most difficult and memorable bosses? Any tips?

Rob Foote: The first time you fight the Butcher. Back in the day, there were no spoilers. You didn’t know what was going to happen when you walked into his room, and he instantly killed you. Just “fresh meat!” and you’re dead. And you’re like, “Whoa! What just happened?” I think that’s very memorable.

Q: If you could go back in time and tell the developers of the original Diablo anything, what would it be?

Rob Foote: I don’t think I’d have them change a thing, even things we perceive as flaws. We never consider those things flaws unless, over time, something changes our perspective. You can’t run in Diablo I, which was fine at the time. After Diablo II came out; it let you run, and so obviously we thought, “oh, this is so much better!” But I never thought about that when I was playing D1.

Q: Is it possible to kill Diablo for good?

Rob Foote: In Diablo, the heroes never celebrate. Even when you think you beat him, Diablo is always coming back. Be on your guard. Evil lurks everywhere, and Sanctuary is a dangerous place.

 

Blizzard LogoJulian Love, Lead VFX Artist

Q: How long have you been a Diablo fan?

Julian Love, Lead VFX Artist: I’d have to go back 20 years to my first year in the industry, 1996. I was working at Sierra Online and our lead programmer brought in a game and said “you’ve got to play this, this is awesome”—it was Diablo. I immediately fell in love. There was a secret pact between the lead engineer, the lead designer, and I—every day we’d just play Diablo together all the time. The producer would show up and be angry at us, or someone would sneak across the hall and say “I died. You’ve got to come help me!” 

Q: What is it about the Diablo series that appeals to you?

Julian Love: Back in 1996 I was playing a lot of Diablo. Some of the guys who played with me wanted to go off on their own and make their own games and we were asking ourselves “what kind of game do you want to make?” and one guy goes, “I want to make a horse racing game!” and I was like, “no way, I want to make a Diablo game!”

And then Diablo II came out and a coworker commented “You know, you show up every day and all you do is talk about Diablo and you know more about it than anyone else. Why aren’t you working there?” So, after six years in the industry, it hit me: “What am I doing? Why am I not working there? I can work there, right?” I quit the next day and I got a job at Blizzard North shortly after.

Q: Do you remember the first thing you worked on when you joined the Diablo team?

Julian Love: What I did was a bit more mundane in nature. We were working on a project that eventually became the engine for Diablo III. Back then you could model a character, but a bunch of steps needed to happen before you could get the character in the game so it could move around. You want to automate as much of it as possible, but back then that wasn’t an industry standard. Nobody had done it. So I worked on the process that lets you turn a polygon into a fully usable character. This process is still in use today; in fact, the Necromancer is being made using the same pipeline I built in 2002.

""Am I going to dig this? Or am I really just done with it?" (...)and just like that I was sucked back into the game again (...)"

Q: How did you get started on the team and in your current role?

Julian Love: I started as a technical artist working on the D3 engine, and about six months in, I noticed people were doing special effects for their characters and—this is going to sound a bit strange—there was a character with a gun. Every time the gun was shot, a little puff of smoke would come out of the barrel. I saw the smoke come out and then shrink down to a point. As you know, smoke does not do that. What I discovered was, many people on the team did their own special effects but no one in particular was passionate about it. They just saw it as something else they had to do.

I really love special effects, so much that at one point I considered working in the film industry. So I built some stuff, everyone loved it and so I said "Seriously, give all of that work to me. Hire someone else to do what I'm doing now and let me do ALL special effects. Nobody gets to do it but me!" because I loved it so much. 

Q: What is your favorite Diablo item?

Julian Love: Two items from Diablo II are my favorites. The first one is Ume's Lament. When I first played Diablo II, the Necromancer completely captured my attention. Playing Hardcore, you have a lot of opportunities to play the same class over and over. I made a few Necromancers and they were terrible. I had no idea what I was doing, so I decided I had to play something else. I picked a Paladin—which was also terrible—but I eventually killed Diablo, and he dropped Ume's Lament. I took it as a sign that I should go back and play more of the Necromancer now that I had a good item for it, so I did—and was much more successful.

Years and years later when I was working at Blizzard North, I had taken a break from the game, so I started again on a fresh character. At that point I had played a lot of Diablo, so I was kind of unsure, like, "Am I going to dig this? Or am I really just done with it?" I walk out of town, the first monster I kill drops a Gull dagger, and just like that I was sucked back into the game again for at least another six months. It was great.

Q: What classes are you playing currently? Do you play Hardcore or Softcore?

Julian Love: Witch Doctor. The variety of builds you can create for Witch Doctor means I've been playing a lot of it. My second class is Monk; he's so fast and responsive it’s hard not to like, but then again, we built him like that. I always play Hardcore and I don't have any Softcore characters. I used to play Softcore exclusively and then I tried Hardcore out of curiosity. Clicking one box changed the whole game. Suddenly everything you do is scarier, and it was awesome. That was it for me. I couldn't go back to Softcore.

"(...)the fact that you can play with just your mouse is crucial to the accessibility the series is known for."

Q: What’s it like working on the Diablo team? What do you do for fun?

Julian Love: There's an old saying for games: "You can't make fun without having fun." I think if you could hear the giggling and laughing at the preposterousness of proposing "let's put over 100 skeletons on the screen for Army of the Dead" and the process of realizing that, you’d understand. No one thinks of these things in isolation, no one sits at their desk alone and comes up with an amazing idea that lights up the world; what happens is we get together and bounce things around and try to one-up each other, and be silly and comical, and propose the most absurd ideas. But it's also very safe to say those things, because there's a lot of trust. Others forgive me for saying something that sounds really off the wall, because they know the next ridiculous, seemingly undoable idea might come from them. Nobody judges the ideas during brainstorms and we let our creativity run wild. We trust that we're coming up with something crazy, but it's always to try and make the game as fun as it can be.

Q: What do you think is the historical legacy of Diablo? What will people be reading about the series 10–20 years from now?

Julian Love: Diablo takes a kind of experience—the fantasy RPG experience—and makes it accessible to everyone. At the time of Diablo’s release, that kind of experience came only to a certain kind of person, and only if you could delve deeply into all the systems, and all the complexities that came with them could you then enjoy the experience. Diablo made it accessible for the rest of us. I can say this with a lot of authority, because I have a relative who I'd say is the quintessential "anti-gamer." He's someone who thinks games are silly; a waste of time. When D3 came out, I convinced him to try it out. After giving him a little direction, he starts clicking, starts killing monsters, and he just lost himself in the game for three hours and had a delightful experience. To me, that's the magic of Diablo.

Q: What‘s the one thing that would cause Diablo to no longer be Diablo if we removed it from the game?

Julian Love: There's a good argument to be made for loot. But I think the important one is preserving the ability to play with one hand. Even though most players will use two hands pretty much all the time, the fact that you can play with just your mouse is crucial to the accessibility the series is known for. If I had to pick a close second, it would be the ability to beat the crap out of so many monsters. Monster-slaying is core to the experience, and if at some point you're not using your skills and items to beat demons into submission, it ceases to be a Diablo game.

"For Army of the Dead, we knew we wanted a long cooldown, flashy spell, and I knew we needed a spell to show people how we were going to bring the Necromancer to the next level."

Q: Can you give us an example of something you’re really excited to have worked on?

Julian Love: I always enjoy trying to figure out new things that will delight our players, and then see their delight when we present it to the world. When we were making the new Witch Doctor skill for Reaper of Souls—Piranhas—the original design was a bit vague, just some kind of summoned debuff, with maybe "some bugs" as a visual. I said, "we need a story here; besides, how will this be different from Locust Swarm? We need something else." You don't want to rehash ideas, and you don't want something that doesn’t fit the class fantasy, but instead something in between, familiar and still new and fresh. Using bugs wasn't good enough, but the idea of animals wasn't bad . . . so what about piranhas? The team latched on to that idea; it was easy to associate it with the Witch Doctor, so we made it. Seeing the reaction as people used that spell for the first time was delightful.

Q: Can you talk about the Necromancer visuals and some of the skills we saw at BlizzCon?

Julian Love: As soon as we decided we were doing the Necromancer, there were skills that made us all say "we can't have a Necromancer without this." Corpse Explosion was at the top of the list. Looking back at Diablo II, the graphics themselves didn't really do the skill justice; the corpses on the ground were iconic, but the notion and the concept of the skill carried it a lot further than visuals did. We have the opportunity to put a strong, clear visual on it, to ensure the skill will feel visceral and fit the fantasy.

When you're working with something with a previous incarnation like this, it's like working with a clay statue that hasn't hardened yet. You're going to touch it and something will change; the question is how.

For Army of the Dead, we knew we wanted a long cooldown, flashy spell, and I knew we needed a spell to show people how we were going to bring the Necromancer to the next level. We gave it a name from a skill which also exists in World of Warcraft, and people just assumed, "oh, okay, they're just going to copy-paste that." Then we got to show it at BlizzCon, and there were literally over one hundred skeletons on the screen. Is this a world record? It has to be. Seeing the reaction from the crowd at BlizzCon was really satisfying. I'm always looking forward to those moments.

Those skills are very grounded and visceral, and that has a lot to do with the visual identity of the Necromancer, who was a very serious, sinister, dark class in Diablo II. We want to make sure we preserve that feeling.

Q: What are some of the series’ most difficult and memorable bosses? Any tips?

Julian Love: I worked on getting patch 1.10 out the door for Diablo II. I showed up, and they were testing Über Diablo, and the guy who was working on it says, “oh, you’re going to LOVE this! It’s almost unbeatable.” He fires up a character outfitted with all rare—yellow—gear, and goes, “look at how HARD this is!” I’m like “You’re kidding, right? Can you get my dual-wielding Barbarian from Battle.net?” A couple days later, I get on my Barbarian, and I say, “okay, watch this,” and I proceed to waste that incarnation of Über Diablo in like 10 seconds. I showed them they were not testing it right, and we started pulling characters from Battle.net to test it, which ended up meaning a 3-month delay to the patch—sorry, everyone!—but in the end the boss was a lot more satisfying.

Q: If you could go back in time and tell the developers of the original Diablo anything, what would it be?

Julian Love: I really like those games for what they are, and it's difficult for me to be critical of anything they've done because that led us to what we have today. A lot of the time, “flaws” are the quirks that make you love a game even more. So, if I had to pick something, it would be a small annoyance; I’d tell them, "don't make gold take inventory space! Put it in its own counter instead" or something. Diablo II is even harder for me, as sometimes I hold it up as the perfect game, but I think if I had to pick something there, I'd say "if you want people to care about resistances, build up to that. Don't let players spend the entire first Act without encountering any poison damage, and then have Andariel wreck them because they had no idea they needed 75% poison resists."

At the same time, these flaws give us stories to tell. The reason we can look back and laugh is because we all got killed by Andariel’s poison damage at one point or another.

Q: Is it possible to kill Diablo for good?

Julian Love: For good? I'm going to give you the smart guy, out-of-the-game-lore answer: you don't want to kill him for good. If we were ever going to make another game and put the Diablo name on it—and I think everyone wants that—we kind of want the Lord of Terror around so you can kill him in it, right? It's OK for an expansion to not have Diablo in it, but every new entry in the series is going to need our titular villain.

 

Blizzard LogoJoe Shely, Senior Game Designer

Q: How long have you been a Diablo fan?

Joe Shely, Senior Game Designer: I've been a fan since the original Diablo. I played it back in high school and my mom yelled at me for not turning the computer off at bedtime—that spellbook wasn’t going to find itself. I also played tons of Diablo II in college; all those sleepless nights worked out for me, though, because now I get to work on Diablo! 

Q: What is it about the Diablo series that appeals to you?

Joe Shely: The original Diablo was all about getting to the bottom of the dungeon and fighting Diablo. It was a challenge just to make it down there alive and find out what's going on. You have to remember, back then you didn’t have the story that's been developed today, it was just "what is happening under this creepy church?" It was very mysterious and I found it compelling.

In Diablo II, I had a Frost Sorceress and I would Frozen Orb everything; I wanted to get to level 99 and I wanted to beat Diablo on Hell difficulty. I liked putting my points into skills and overcharging skills with +skills on items, playing the item game to maximize my skills, and getting Uniques. I felt like I could always keep progressing my character, and I think that's a strength of Diablo—your character can always get stronger and take on new, harder challenges.

"I think the strongest item I have on any character is probably an Ancient Yang's Recurve with really good rolls."

Q: Do you remember the first thing you worked on when you joined the Diablo team?

Joe Shely: I don't know if I can remember the exact thing, but I probably tuned something that frustrated me as a player. At one point, we had an issue with seeking projectiles that tracked the player being biased towards one direction. It was very good at tracking you in one direction, and very bad at tracking you in the other direction; I realized this playing on my Wizard, so I came in to work the next day and fixed it.

Q: How did you get started on the team and in your current role?

Joe Shely: I began working on Diablo III directly shortly after the original release. I came on to help with Reaper of Souls and got to do a bunch of work on monsters, bosses, systems, Adventure Mode, Greater Rift tuning, and more.

Q: What is your favorite Diablo item?

Joe Shely: I definitely like Cam's Rebuttal. It's not the strongest item—I think the strongest item I have on any character is probably an Ancient Yang's Recurve with really good rolls. In terms of pure power, it's a fantastic item, and I was super excited I got it. But when I look at some of the items that do really interesting things, I really like playing the Crusader and having a window of time where I've got another charge of Falling Sword I don't want to waste. There are conditions under which I won't use it, like if there's only one guy left. Sometimes I try to wait as long as possible before using that second charge to maximize the damage from the Firestarter Rune and Consecration.

"(...)the Diablo legacy is very much still being written. There’s this chase of slaying monsters and getting epic loot and being heroic(...)"

Q: What classes are you playing currently? Do you play Hardcore or Softcore?

Joe Shely: Let’s see . . . I’ve got a Hardcore Wizard in Season 8 and a Demon Hunter non-Seasonal. I also have a Hardcore Crusader I haven’t played in a while, but he’s pretty fun too. I think I play Hardcore for the same reason as many of our players—the stakes are increased, your decisions matter in the combat sense. It’s certainly something I do when I want to sit and only play Diablo III, and really focus on that. I won’t try to do anything else while I’m playing my Hardcore character.

Q: What’s it like working on the Diablo team? What do you do for fun?

Joe Shely: The Diablo team is a great group to work for in many ways; it has its own culture, and it’s a culture that evolved around wanting the best for the game and trying to use our resources and the talent of the team to deliver awesome content for our players. At Blizzard, we have this very strong philosophy of supporting our games for years after their release, so that’s very much our focus on the team, looking at the game week-to-week, month-to-month to figure out what the game needs now, and what’s the best thing to deliver to our fans. I’m very proud of our team-wide brainstorms, where we get everyone in a room and we say “here’s the next piece of content we’re going to do,” like a new zone, and we discuss possibilities. “There are new monsters in this zone; what should they be?”

We get a good sense of what we should do in brainstorms; for example, we’ll start with a rough overview of a new zone, like a cold, shrouded moor; there’s going to be some rocky terrain, and it’s misty . . . so what kind of monsters live there? We look at all those and figure out what can we do, and which ideas resonate most strongly with the team. The advantage of team brainstorming is, when it comes time to make the content, whether it’s modeling a creature, animating it, or adding powers, the people who are doing it know they had input into that feature, which makes everyone more passionate.

Q: What do you think is the historical legacy of Diablo? What will people be reading about the series 10–20 years from now?

Joe Shely: I would hope they would read about it and then go play some Diablo, in whatever form that may be, because I think the Diablo legacy is very much still being written. There’s this chase of slaying monsters and getting epic loot and being heroic, and that thread has tied the franchise together. I would expect to see more of that in the future.

Malthael is a pretty tough boss: he’s got multiple phases,(...) and there’s some stuff that can kill you if you’re not watching.

Q: What‘s the one thing that would cause Diablo to no longer be Diablo if we removed it from the game?

Joe Shely: I think loot is the answer. Slaying monsters, getting epic loot, and using your epic loot to slay more monsters is the core loop of Diablo. You can see this all the way from Diablo I to Diablo III. Look at what spellbooks were in Diablo I; they were a form of epic loot that changed your gameplay. When you consider how legendaries have evolved in Diablo III, you can see how the items in Diablo III very much affect your gameplay in some of those same ways—they can make significant changes to your skills, how they're used, the visual effects of your skills, and gameplay mechanics in quite a similar way to how a spellbook would give you a completely new spell.

Q: Can you give us an example of something you’re really excited to have worked on?

Joe Shely: I’m excited about the changes coming to Greater Rifts in 2.4.3. We've reworked the way we spawn monsters in Greater Rifts, and the most obvious effect is that you're going to see a more consistent and, for some tiles, higher density of monsters—but it's really much more. We want the Greater Rift experience to be as varied as possible, and to have plenty of possibilities to be great. When you go down a floor, you should expect great monsters, surprising tiles, cool pylons, etc. The changes we've done in 2.4.3 are aimed at improving that experience. I think it's going to be a good change for our players.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the Darkening of Tristram (Patch 2.4.3) and how the patch came to be?

Joe Shely: I think one of the things we tried to capture with the anniversary event is this direct connection to the Soulstone and the evil of the Soulstone that ties the franchise together. I think the story of Malthael is a very interesting one; you get to meet the Angiris Council and learn about what's going on with these angels, but it's also nice to have an anchor or touchstone in the Red Soulstone, and that's why we wanted to bring it back for the anniversary event. That's also why we put the additional effort to get the D1 cinematic in there, and make a legendary gem you can put in your helm and really capture what I think was probably one of the most memorable events of Diablo 1—you end up impaling yourself.

Q: What are some of the series’ most difficult and memorable bosses? Any tips?

Joe Shely: The Baal fight in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is pretty hard if you’re a ranged character. He slows you, and you have to deal with the tight constraints of the room. You’re being thrust directly into the fight. Looking at Diablo III, I think Malthael is a pretty tough boss: he’s got multiple phases, a lot of different mechanics, and there’s some stuff that can kill you if you’re not watching. His clouds can be quite dangerous; the adds he summons are some of the most dangerous monsters you’ll face out in the world, and then his ultimate lightning hands attack does extreme damage, so you really have to be on your toes.

Q: If you could go back in time and tell the developers of the original Diablo anything, what would it be?

Joe Shely: I think there would be a lot of back slapping. I’ve always wanted something to happen with the cow when you click on it, the one outside the entrance to the catacombs. Anything, really. I mean you click him, he moos at you, you think something’s gonna happen. I’d like to think we’ve corrected that in the later games, though.

Editor’s note: We’re not sure what Joe is on about here. 

Q: Is it possible to kill Diablo for good?

Joe Shely: All I can say is, he hasn’t died yet, right? He’s not been permanently vanquished at this point. We’ll have to wait and see

(Source)

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      Instant GR Resurrection
      On live, every death in Greater Rifts increases your respawn timer by 5 seconds (up to a maximum of 30 seconds). Patch 2.6.0 changes things around a little, and the time is now directly added to your Greater Rift completion time.

      Screenshot is a courtesy of redditor Oagoz
      New Necromancer Legendary Items
      Many new Legendary affixes have been added to the game for Necromancers and you can find them here (again, screenshots have been mady by Oagoz).
      Instant resurrection in Greater Rifts, Necromancer Class Sets & more.
      Patch 2.6.0 Build 45183
      The testing primarily focuses now on Necromancer Class Sets, because they've just been added to Adventure Mode. Below are full patch notes with latest changes highlighted in red.
      Blizzard (Source)
      PTR PATCH 2.6.0 - v2.6.0.45183
      Below you'll find the preliminary notes for Patch 2.6.0, including the Necromancer beta. Please note that this isn't the final version and that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.
      Please note that content availability during the beta will vary depending on testing needs.
      General
      New Feature: Challenge Rifts Explore new builds created by fellow players in a weekly static dungeon. You can access these through the main screen, similar to Adventure Mode and Campaign Mode. Note: New Challenge Rifts may be available more frequently during the beta. Classes
      New Class: Necromancer As a master of the dark arts, you wield the powers of life and death necessary to restore the Balance! Necromancers are powerful spell casters who lay waste to their enemies using curses and reanimation—along with an obedient cadre of pets. This new class employs a controlled gameplay style using the raw materials of life: blood and bone. Skills Corpse Explosion Base Rune Target an area exploding all corpses within 11 yards dealing 150% 250% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards Close Quarters Explodes corpses close to you, dealing 200% 325% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards Corpse Lance Base Rune Target an enemy to summon projectiles from nearby corpses that cause 750% 900% weapon damage to the target Land of the Dead Base Rune All corpse skills can be used at will for 5 10 seconds Army of the Dead Base Rune Raise a massive skeletal army to pummel the targeted location dealing 3,000% 12,000% weapon damage in a 15 yard radius Frozen Army Weapon damage increased to 3,600% 12,000% and they attack all enemies in a line Dead Storm Raise a storm of the dead that surround you damaging enemies for 2,000% 15,500% weapon damage over 5 seconds Unconventional Warfare Damage increased to 50,000% total weapon damage Catatonic Grasp Has been renamed to Blighted Grasp Has been redesigned Skeletal hands raise from the ground damaging enemies within 15 yards for 14,000% total weapon damage as Poison over 5 seconds Passives Final Service When this passive successfully prevents death, the Necromancer is immune to incoming damage for 4 seconds Note: The tooltip does not currently reflect this Bug Fixes Decay Golem Fixed an issue where Decay golem was not benefiting from the unlimited corpses granted by Land of the Dead Items
      General Scythes and Phylacteries are now sold by some of the vendors throughout the world Class Sets Bones of Rathma ([PH] Bone / Pet Set) (2) Set Bonus Your pets have a chance to reduce the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 second each time they deal damage (4) Set Bonus You gain 1% damage reduction each time your pets deal damage. Max 50 stacks. (6) Set Bonus Each active Skeleton Mage increases the damage of your minions and Army of the Dead by 200% Trag’Oul’s Avatar ([PH] Blood Set) (2) Set Bonus Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune (4) Set Bonus While at full life, your healing from skills is added to your maximum life for 45 seconds. Up to 100% more. (6) Set Bonus Spending 10% life grants you a stack of Blood Cascade. Each stack of Blood Cascade increases the damage of life-spending attacks by 200% and also increases the life you lose by 10%. Using a skill to heal will consume a stack and heal for an additional 300% Grace of Inarius ([PH] Saint Set) (2) Set Bonus Bone Armor’s damage is increased by 1000% (4) Set Bonus Bone Armor stacks are now refreshed. In addition, Bone Armor grants an additional 2% damage reduction per enemy hit (6) Set Bonus Bone Armor also activates a Bone Tornado damaging nearby enemies by 375% weapon damage as Physical. Enemies hit by the tornado take 850% additional damage from the Necromancer’s abilities and minions Pestilence Master’s Shroud ([PH] Melee Set) (2) Set Bonus Each corpse you consume fires a Corpse Lance at a nearby enemy (4) Set Bonus Each enemy hit by Bone Spear reduces your damage taken by 2% up to a maximum of 50%. Lasts 15 seconds. (6) Set Bonus Each corpse you consume grants you an Empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 1000% Hellfire Amulet Necromancer passives have been added for this item Halcyon’s Ascent Added skills to this item for the Necromancer Adventure Mode
      New Zones: The Moors & The Temple of the Firstborn The fog-enshrouded Moors and the darkened Temple of the Firstborn can be explored in Adventure Mode through a new waypoint on the Act 2 map. Set Dungeons The user interface has been updated to better explain tier completion requirements. With this, the basic completion tier must be finished within the given time limit. The time limit to complete a Set Dungeon has been increased to 5 minutes Necromancer Set Dungeons have been added to Adventure Mode Bounties Four new Waypoints have appeared in Act IV. Each one has bounties to complete. These Realms of Fate are the unintended consequences of the battle between the nephalem and Diablo in the High Heavens. Greater Rifts Players who die in solo Greater Rifts can now choose to immediately resurrect. When choosing this option, the time remaining on your death timer will be removed from the remaining Greater Rift time and your cooldowns will be advanced by the same amount. PTR Only Fixed an issue which sometimes prevented players from completing the “Clear the Forgotten Well” bounty
    • By Starym

       
      We get to see almost all the active and passive skills of the new class, runes included!
      It seems even those of is without a beta key get some goodies today, as Blizzard have posted a preview of the Necro's skills and passives! There were no sill gifs in Blizzard's original preview, but we've enhanced ours with gifs from previous ones where available!

      And if you're wondering what else is coming with the Necromancer patch, check out the patch notes right here.
      Blizzard (source)
      The power of blood, bone, curses, and hordes of obedient minions are the Necromancer’s to command. After many months of development, we’re now ready to give you the low-down on the skills and passive abilities that are now available for select testers to try in the Necromancer Closed Beta.
      Note: The following content is still under development. Both numbers and functionality may still be subject to substantial change. In addition, Necromancer-specific Legendary items and class sets are not yet available for testing.
      Table of Contents
      Primary Secondary Blood & Bone Reanimation Curses Corpses Passives Primary
      Bone Spikes
      Base Skill (Physical) Generate: 24 Essence. Summon bone spikes from the ground dealing 150% weapon damage per second. Sudden Impact (Physical) Bone spikes stun enemies for 1 second. Path of Bones (Physical) Now unleashes a line of spikes that deals 100% weapon damage. Damage is increased by up to 100% for those further away. Bone Pillars (Poison) Instead strikes the target and up to two nearby enemies with large bone pillars for 150% weapon damage. Frost Spikes (Cold) Leaves a frost patch that reduces the movement speed by 60% for 2 seconds. Blood Spikes (Physical) Enemies bleed for 50% weapon damage over 2 seconds and heal you for 0.5% of your total life over the duration. Siphon Blood
      Base Skill (Physical) Generate: 15 Essence each time damage is dealt. Siphon the blood from the targeted enemy dealing 300% weapon damage. Siphon Blood heals you for 2% of your total health every second while channeled.
      Suppress (Cold) Enemies are also slowed by 75%. Purity of Essence (Physical) Essence gained is increased to 20 while you are at full health. Drain Life (Physical) Increases the amount of health restored to 6% but no longer restores Essence. Power Shift (Poison) Damage is increased by 10% each time damage is dealt. Max 10 stacks. Blood Sucker (Physical) You pull in all health globes within 40 yards while siphoning. Grim Scythe
      Base Skill (Physical) Generate: 12 Essence per enemy hit Slash with a summoned Scythe in front of you dealing 150% weapon damage as Physical.
      Blood Scythe (Physical) Heal for 1% of your health per enemy hit. Execution (Physical) Enemies below 20% health have a 5% chance to be decapitated and instantly killed. Frost Scythe (Cold) Each enemy hit increases your attack speed by 1% for 5 seconds. Max 15 stacks. Dual Scythes (Physical) Slash with two summoned Scythes in front of you dealing 150% weapon damage as Physical and push enemies together. Cursed Scythe (Poison) Enemies hit by the scythe have a 15% chance to be inflicted with a random curse. Return to Top
      Secondary
      Death Nova
      Base Skill (Poison)
      Cost: 20 Essence Unleash a Nova that deals 350% weapon damage to all enemies within 25 yards. Tendril Nova (Physical) Now heals you for 1% of your health per target hit and reduces damage dealt to 225%. Bone Nova (Physical) Spines radiate outward and deal 475% weapon damage within 12 yards. Blood Nova (Physical) Spend 10% health to unleash a Blood Nova that deals 450% weapon damage to all nearby enemies within 25 yards.
      Blight (Poison) Leave a lingering patch of blight on the ground slowing enemies by 60% and causing them to deal 15% less damage for 1 second. Unstable Compound (Poison) Each cast increases the radius of your next Nova by 5 yards up to 2 times. Bone Spear
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 20 Essence Summon a piercing bone projectile that causes 450% weapon damage to all enemies it passes through.
      Crystallization (Cold) Each enemy hit has their attack speed reduced by 20% and your attack speed is increased by 3% for 3 seconds stacking up to 10 times. Shatter (Physical) Instead of piercing now detonates on the first enemy hit dealing 450% to all enemies within 15 yards. Blighted Marrow (Poison) Damage is increased by 15% for each enemy Bone Spear passes through. Blood Spear (Physical) Bone Spear turns into Blood Spear. Damage is increased to 518% weapon damage at the cost of 10% health. Teeth (Physical) Launches 5 razor sharp teeth that deal 300% weapon damage. Skeleton Mage
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 40 Essence Raise a skeleton from the ground to attack your foes dealing 400% weapon damage per attack. Lasts 6 seconds. Gift of Death (Physical) Risen Skeletons leave a corpse behind when they die or expire. Singularity (Physical) Consumes all Essence to summon a powerful minion. The minion’s damage is increased by 3% for every point of Essence consumed. Life Support (Physical) Risen Mages cost 10% health to cast but lasts an additional 2 seconds. Contamination (Poison) Raise a contaminated mage that channels an aura of decay for 175% weapon damage for its duration. Skeleton Archer (Cold) Raise a Skeleton Archer that deals 400% weapon damage. Skeleton Archers increase your attack speed by 3% for 5 seconds each time they deal damage. Max 10 stacks. Return to Top
      Blood & Bone
      Bone Armor
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence Cooldown: 10 seconds Rip bones from nearby enemies, dealing 150% weapon damage, and create armor that reduces damage taken by 3% per enemy hit up to a maximum of 10 enemies. Bone Armor lasts 60 seconds. [Placeholder] Increased Damage (Physical) Damage dealt to enemies is increased by 200%. [Placeholder] Immunity (Physical) Your armor absorbs all incoming damage for 5 seconds and grants immunity to all control impairing effects. Dislocation (Physical) Enemies hit are also stunned for 2 seconds. Thy Flesh Sustained (Physical) Cost: 20% Health Increases your Life per Second by 10% per target hit. Reap of Anguish (Physical) Bone Armor also increases your movement speed by 1% for each enemy hit. Bone Spirit
      Base Skill (Physical) Launch a Bone Spirit that will seek enemies. Deals 4000% damage on impact. You gain a charge every 15 seconds and can store up to 3 charges.  Recharge time is reduced by 1 second for each corpse you consume. Possession (Physical) Bone Spirit will now charm the target for 10 seconds at the cost of 10% health. Panic Attack (Poison) Enemies within 10 yards are feared for 2 seconds when Bone Spirit detonates. Poltergeist (Cold) Increases the maximum number of charges to 4. Unfinished Business (Cold) Bone Spirit explodes dealing 1250% weapon damage to all enemies within 10 yards on detonation. Astral Projection (Cold) Damage is increased by 15% for each enemy that Bone Spirit passes through while seeking its target. Blood Rush
      Base Skill (Physical) Cooldown: 5 seconds Cost: 5% Health Shed your mortal flesh and reappear up to 50 yards away.
      Transfusion (Physical) Heals for 2% of your maximum health for every enemy passed through. Hemostasis (Physical) Removes the health cost. Metabolism (Physical) Blood Rush now has 2 charges, but its health cost is doubled. Potency (Physical) Increases your armor by 100% for 2 seconds after casting. Molting (Physical) Leaves a corpse at your original location when used. Simulacrum
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 50% Health Cooldown: 120 seconds Create a Simulacrum made of blood that will duplicate your Essence Spenders for 15 seconds. Reservoir (Physical) Your maximum Essence is increased by 100% while your Simulacrum is active. Cursed Form (Physical) While active, your curse skills now apply all three curses. [Placeholder] Blood Debt (Physical) Life costs for skills are reduced by 75% while Simulacrum is active. Blood and Bone (Physical) Now also creates a Simulacrum of Bone, but the duration is reduced to 10 seconds. Self Sacrifice (Physical) If you would die with a Simulacrum active, instead the Simulacrum is destroyed and you are fully healed. Return to Top
      Reanimation
      Land of the Dead
      Base Skill (Physical) Cooldown: 120 seconds All corpse skills can be used at will for 5 seconds. Invigoration (Physical) Your skills do not cost Essence while Land of the Dead is active. Frozen Lands (Cold) Enemies in the Land of the Dead are periodically frozen. Plaguelands (Poison) Land of the Dead deals up to 5,000% weapon damage to enemies over its duration. Land of Plenty (Physical) You are healed for 2% of your maximum life whenever you kill an enemy while Land of the Dead is active. Shallow Graves (Physical) Every 10 enemies killed extends the duration by 1 second up to a maximum of 2 seconds. Command Skeletons
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 50 Essence Active: Command your skeletal minions to attack the target and increase their damage by 50% for 5 seconds. Passive: Raise skeletons from the ground every 2 seconds to a max of 7 skeletons. Skeletal minions deal 50% weapon damage per attack.
      Enforcer (Physical) Reduces the active Essence cost to 25. Dark Mending (Physical) Skeletal minions will heal you for 0.5% of your total health per hit while being commanded. Freezing Grasp (Cold) The target of your command is frozen for 3 seconds. Kill Command (Poison) Now commands your skeletons to explode, dealing 80% weapon damage to enemies within 15 yards. Frenzy (Physical) Commanded skeletons go into a frenzy, gaining 25% increased attack speed for the duration. Command Golem
      Base Skill (Poison) Cooldown: 60 seconds Active: Command the Golem to the targeted location where it collapses into a pile of 5 corpses. Passive: Raise a Flesh Golem to fight for you. Flesh Golem deals 450% weapon damage per attack. Bone Golem (Physical) Active: The Golem becomes a tornado of bone carrying all nearby enemies to the targeted location and rooting them in place for 2 seconds. Blood Golem (Physical) Active: The Golem sacrifices itself healing you for 25% of your health and reconstructs at the targeted location. As the Golem reconstructs, veiny tendrils damage nearby enemies for 450% weapon damage.
      Flesh Consuming Golem (Poison) Active: The Golem consumes corpses at the targeted location increasing its damage by 30% per corpse. Decay Golem (Poison) Active: Command the Golem to the targeted location where it collapses into a pile of 8 corpses. Ice Golem (Cold) Active: Command the Golem to the targeted location where it freezes enemies for 3 seconds and increases their chance to be critically struck by 10% for 10 seconds. Army of the Dead
      Base Skill (Physical) Cooldown: 120 seconds Raise a massive skeletal army to pummel the targeted location dealing 3000% weapon damage in a 15 yard radius. Catatonic Grasp (Poison) Hands raise from the ground and immobilize enemies in place for 5 seconds. Frozen Army (Cold) Weapon damage increased to 3600% and they attack all enemies in a line. Unconventional Warfare (Physical) Skeletons will rise from the ground and attack random targets for 4 seconds. [Placeholder] Death Valley (Physical) The skeletal army knocks all effected enemies towards the center. Dead Storm (Physical) Raise a storm of the dead that surround you damaging enemies for 2000% weapon damage over 5 seconds. Return to Top
      Curses
      Decrepify
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence A crippling curse that reduces the enemy units’ movement speed by 75% and reduces damage done by 20% for 30 seconds. Opportunist (Physical) Gain a 3% movement speed increase for every enemy cursed. Borrowed Time (Physical) Gain 1% cooldown reduction for every enemy cursed. Wither (Physical) Damage reduction increased to 30%, but no longer reduces movement speed. Dizzying Curse (Physical) Cursed enemies have a 10% chance to be stunned for 2 seconds when hit. Enfeeblement (Physical) Increase the potency of the movement speed reduction for the first 5 seconds. Frailty
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence A crippling curse that kills enemies with less than 15% health.  Lasts 30 seconds. [Placeholder] Essence Return (Physical) Gain 2 essence when a cursed enemy dies. Volatile Death (Physical) Cursed enemies explode for 100% weapon damage on death. Scent of Blood (Physical) Cursed enemies take 15% increased damage from your minions. Aura of Frailty (Physical) Becomes an aura that curses all enemies within 15 yards. The range of this effect is increased by 50% of your gold pickup radius. Early Grave (Physical) Triggers at 18% life but costs 10% of your life. Leech
      Base Skill (Physical) Cost: 10 Essence Curse the target area. Cursed enemies have a chance to heal the attacker when they are struck for 1% of their total health. Lasts 30 seconds.
      Transmittable (Physical) Enemies that die while cursed will spread the curse to a nearby unaffected target. Sanguine End (Physical) Whenever a cursed enemy dies, you are healed for 200% of your Life per Kill. Cursed Ground (Physical) Now curses the ground, healing you for 0.5% of your maximum life every second for each enemy in the cursed area. Blood Flask (Physical) Whenever a cursed enemy dies your potion cooldown is reduced by 1 second. Osmosis (Physical) Each cursed enemy increases your life regeneration by 751 per second. Return to Top
      Corpses
      Corpse Explosion
      Base Skill (Physical) Target an area exploding all corpses within 11 yards dealing 150% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards.
      Final Embrace (Physical) Corpses pull themselves towards the nearest enemy before exploding, but Corpse Explosion now costs 3% life per corpse. Close Quarters (Poison) Now explodes corpses close to you, dealing 200% weapon damage to enemies within 20 yards. Bloody Mess (Physical) Explosion radius is increased to 25 yards. Dead Cold (Cold) Freeze all enemies caught in the explosion for 2 seconds. Shrapnel (Poison) Corpses now explode away from you, hitting all targets in a cone. Corpse Lance
      Base Skill (Physical) Target an enemy to summon projectiles from nearby corpses that cause 750% weapon damage to the target. Brittle Touch (Cold) Enemies become brittle increasing their chance to be crit by 5% for 5 seconds each time they are hit with Corpse Lance. Blood Lance (Physical) Spend 5% of your total health to launch an additional lance from yourself towards the target that deals 250% weapon damage. Visceral Impact (Physical) Stuns the target for 3 seconds. Shredding Splinters (Poison) Each lance slows the target by 10% and reduces its damage by 6% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. Ricochet (Physical) Corpse Lance has a 20% chance to ricochet to one additional target. Devour
      Base Skill (Physical) Consume corpses within 60 yards to restore 10 Essence per corpse. Ruthless (Physical) Additionally consumes your minions for 10 Essence per minion killed. Voracious (Physical) Reduces all Essence costs by 2% for each corpse consumed for 5 seconds. Devouring Aura (Physical) Becomes an aura that consumes all corpses within 15 yards to restore 11 Essence per corpse. The range of this effect is increased by 50% of your gold pickup radius. Satiated (Physical) Increases maximum life by 2% for 2 seconds for each corpse devoured. Cannibalize (Physical) Each corpse consumed also restores 3% health.
      Revive
      Base Skill (Physical) Target an area reviving up to 10 corpses within 20 yards for 15 seconds. Oblation (Physical) Increases the damage of revived creatures by 20% but each Revive now costs 3% health. Personal Army (Physical) Damage taken is reduced by 1% for each revived minion active? Recklessness (Cold) Revived minions deal an additional 150% damage but last 6 seconds. Damage dealt is turned into Cold. [Placeholder] Horrific Return (Poison) When you revive a corpse, enemies within 20 yards run in fear for 3 seconds. Purgatory (Physical) Revived minions degenerate back into a usable corpse at the end of their duration. Return to Top
      Passives
      Fueled by Death
      Consuming a corpse increases your run speed by 3% for 5 seconds. Life from Death
      Consuming a corpse has a 20% chance to spawn a Health Globe. Stand Alone
      Increase Armor by 100%, reduced by 10% for each active minion. Bone Prison
      Bone Spear, Bone Spikes and Bone Spirit have a 10% chance to trap enemies in a Bone Prison for 3 seconds. Commander of the Dead
      The Essence cost of Command Skeletons and the cooldown of Command Golem are reduced by 30%. Swift Harvesting
      Increase the attack speed of Bone Spikes, Siphon Blood and Grim Scythe by 15%. Aberrant Animator
      Your minions gain 200% of your Thorns. Eternal Torment
      Your curses cost 50% less Essence and last forever. Blood for Blood
      Picking up a health globe removes the health cost of the next Blood spell. This effect can stack up to 3 times. Blood is Power
      Every 5% health lost will reduce all remaining cooldowns by 1%. Draw Life
      Increases your Health Regen by 10% for each enemy within 20 yards. Extended Servitude
      Increase the duration of your Skeletal Mage and Revive minions by 25%. Final Service
      If you would take lethal damage instead all minions are consumed and heal you for 10% of your health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60 seconds. Grisly Tribute
      You are healed for 10% of your Life on Hit when one of your minions hits an enemy. Overwhelming Essence
      Increase your maximum Essence by 40. Rathma’s Shield
      You cannot lose life for 4 seconds after using Land of the Dead, Army of the Dead and Simulacrum. Reaping
      While using a scythe gain 1% Essence and Life per kill. Rigor Mortis
      Blight abilities also slow enemies by 30% and reduce their attack speed by 15% for 5 seconds. Serration
      Bone Spikes, Bone Spear and Bone Spirit deal 1% increased damage for every 2 yards between you, up to a maximum of 15%. Return to Top
       
      Curses and Summons and Blood
      The Necromancer packs a huge variety of skills across long range, short range, and pet-oriented skills. What kind of Necromancer are you looking forward to playing? Do you want to sacrifice your health for additional power using Blood skills? Or do you prefer being the master of minions and want to surround yourself with an undead army?
      Stay tuned for more Necromancer information in the coming weeks as the Closed Beta begins and don’t forget to opt in for the chance to join if you haven’t already!
    • By Starym

       
      The beta is finally here and the patch itself brings a few more things in addition to the titular class, including challenge rifts, new zones and new waypoints in old ones!

      You can also check out the official necromancer skill overview, covering most (or all?) the active and passive abilities the new class has so far (including gifs for some).
      Blizzard (source)
      Please note that participation in the Necromancer beta test will be by invitation to ensure focused feedback and a smooth testing experience. For details on how to participate, please see this blog.
      Installation and Play Instructions: To install and play the Necromancer beta test, please follow the instructions below:
      Step 1: If you were invited to the beta test, verify that your account has been granted a beta license in Blizzard Account Management.
      Step 2: Download and install the Blizzard launcher.
      Step 3: Once you have installed the Blizzard launcher, log in with your credentials and select Diablo III from the menu on the left-hand side.
      Step 4: On the Diablo III screen, there is a drop-down menu above the "Play" button (note that this may say "Install" if you do not have Diablo III currently installed). Select " Necromancer Beta Test" from this drop-down menu before proceeding.
      Step 5: You should now have the option to install and play the beta.
      Beta Character Copy:
      The option to copy your existing Diablo III characters from your live account to the beta will be available and can be done directly through the beta client.
      Step 1: Log into the beta client and create a level 1 character. After you're done, return to the main character screen.
      Step 2: Note the “PTR Copy” button at the top right of the Home Screen. (This button will not appear in-game until you have created a new level 1 character.)
      Step 3: Select your region.
      Step 4: Click "Copy." This will copy all characters on your account from the selected region.
      Step 5: You may be disconnected from the beta client.
      Step 6: Log back in. Your copied characters will be available for play.
      Please note that you can only copy characters from one gameplay region at a time. If you choose to copy characters from a different region, any previously copied beta characters will be lost.
      In addition, you can only copy characters over to your beta account once every 24 hours. Attempting to copy characters before this cooldown is up will result in an error.
      PTR PATCH 2.6.0 - v2.6.0.44923
      Below you'll find the preliminary notes for Patch 2.6.0, including the Necromancer beta. Please note that this isn't the final version and that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.
      Please note that content availability during the beta will vary depending on testing needs.
       
      GENERAL
      New Feature: Challenge Rifts Explore new builds created by fellow players in a weekly static dungeon. You can access these through the main screen, similar to Adventure Mode and Campaign Mode. Note: New Challenge Rifts may be available more frequently during the beta.
      CLASSES
      New Class: Necromancer As a master of the dark arts, you wield the powers of life and death necessary to restore the Balance! Necromancers are powerful spell casters who lay waste to their enemies using curses and reanimation—along with an obedient cadre of pets. This new class employs a controlled gameplay style using the raw materials of life: blood and bone.
      ADVENTURE MODE
      New Zones: The Moors & The Temple of the Firstborn The fog-enshrouded Moors and the darkened Temple of the Firstborn can be explored in Adventure Mode through a new waypoint on the Act 2 map. Set Dungeons The user interface has been updated to better explain tier completion requirements. With this, the basic completion tier must be finished within the given time limit. Bounties Four new Waypoints have appeared in Act IV. Each one has bounties to complete. These Realms of Fate are the unintended consequences of the battle between the nephalem and Diablo in the High Heavens.
    • By Starym

       
      We may get to play the Necromancer "soon" it seems, as the closed beta is about to arrive. Blizzard have announced the "extremely limited" (in terms of people admitted, anyway) test period for the newest Diablo 3 class is almost here and we should opt in on our battle.net accounts if we want to see it before patch 2.6.0 goes live (which won't be that soon).

      The beta will contain all Necro abilities and runes, as well as their legendary items added over time and other patch 2.6.0 features as well. They don't appear to be planning an open beta as of yet but the closed one will not have an NDA.
      Blizzard (source)
      Prepare yourselves—the Necromancer beta test is right around the corner, nephalem!
      Invitations to our closed beta test will soon be going out worldwide. If you are invited, we'd love to hear all about your adventures on the forums, watch your live streams, and see screenshots and videos of your experiences as you wield the dark powers of the Necromancer.
      Please keep in mind that the Necromancer and other parts of Patch 2.6.0 are still in development. As such, content in the closed beta may change and does not necessarily represent the final version.
      For additional information about the closed beta, including how to participate and answers to frequently asked questions, read on below!

      How to Participate:
      If you're interested in participating in the Necromancer beta test, you’ll want to make sure you've opted-in for beta testing. To opt in, simply visit your Beta Profile Settings page in Account Management, check the Diablo box under Beta Tests I'm Interested In, and then click Update Preferences. In order to be eligible to participate in the closed beta, you must have an active Diablo III license attached to your Blizzard account in good standing (i.e. not suspended or banned).

      Please note that opting in to the Necromancer beta test does not guarantee you access (especially since invites to our closed beta will be extremely limited), but it does at least give you a chance at joining the beta test.

      Necromancer Beta Test FAQ:
      How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
      Beta testers are chosen according to their system specifications, in-game activity, and other factors, including an element of luck.
      How will I know if I'm selected to participate in the beta?
      If you are selected to participate in the Necromancer beta test, you will receive an invite via email. This invitation will always be sent to the email address associated with your Blizzard account.
      Will there be any other ways to get into the beta besides opting-in?
      In addition to opt-ins, we are also inviting key members of the community on a case-by-case basis. Invites to the Necromancer beta test will be extremely limited, however, and opting in is your best way to get in.
      How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?
      The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If we ultimately determine we need more players to participate after the initial testing, we’ll invite more.
      What game content will be available in the beta?
      Players who participate will have access to all of the Necromancer’s skills and abilities, as well as other Patch 2.6.0 content. In addition, new Legendary and Set items unique to the Necromancer will be added in over time. Our upcoming patch notes will have all the details on what’s included.
      How long will the beta test last?
      We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.
      Will there be an open beta?
      In order to ensure focused feedback and a smooth testing experience for beta players, the Necromancer beta test will be invite-only for the duration of the test.
      Is there an NDA?
      There is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for the Necromancer beta test. You are welcome to take screenshots, livestream your play sessions, and record feedback videos. Please keep in mind that the game is still a work in progress, though, and we appreciate your understanding when you encounter bugs, graphical errors, or other issues.
      Will Mac users be able to participate in the beta test?
      Yes, Mac users will be able to participate in the beta at the same time as Windows users.
    • By Blainie

      With such a vast array of items, skills and classes in Diablo 3, it can be very troublesome trying to get into the game as either a new player, someone trying out a new class or just someone getting back into the game. We've made sure to update all of our beginner guides for Season 10, so that you know exactly what to do in the early-game!
      The guides are mainly tailored to help players understand the most efficient ways to play their class while leveling to 70, as well as in the early torment levels prior to obtaining the vast multitude of legendaries available. There is a Leveling and Early 70 guide for each class, which can be found linked below:
      Barbarian Crusader Demon Hunter Monk Witch Doctor Wizard The builds outline different possibilities with the Haedrig's Gift sets, of which each class receives one. If you're wondering what your class set is, you can find them below:
      Barbarian - Raekor Crusader - Akkhan Demon Hunter - Marauder Monk - Inna's Witch Doctor - Zunimassa Wizard - Delsere's Good luck in the new season everyone and have fun!